Call Centre and Call Handling Predictions for 2019
2019 will bring many significant changes to the call centre and call handling industry. Call centres have been continuously changing over the years, adapting to new mainframe technologies. With the emerging needs of customers and an escalation in call volume, there arises a need for call centres to adapt to the current environment. Matching the current needs and trends will showcase the dynamism in taking their business to a top-level. Taking a look at the overall landscape of the call centre business, here are a few predictions that will rule the call centre space as 2019 gets into full swing:
Messenger may die a natural death
With the invention of many other messenger applications, it is believed that Facebook is going to die a natural death. In the past few years, there have been claims against Facebook for misuse of personal data. There have been some Facebook users who have claimed that their personal data was shared by Facebook, so it fails to maintain data security. Facebook has the largest number of users worldwide, but with the introduction of new technologies and applications, it is believed that people will look for other messaging options rather than Facebook Messenger. So if you are planning to implement Facebook Messenger as a channel for the call centre or for call handling purposes, then you should possibly reconsider. It is better that you choose other mediums to stay at par, and to use channels that are going to serve you with better communication options.
Collaboration will spread its roots wide
In the coming year, you can expect to see collaborations between Microsoft teams and unified communications. It is a fact that call volumes are increasing day by day, thus there arises a need for efficient call handling, which may require an automation process and self-service. In order to fix these problems, it is quite possible that businesses will be collaborating in the upcoming year. People owning different businesses can consider sailing in the same boat to solve the issues that may creep up in call handling.
Optimisation will become a necessity
For effective call handling purposes, organisations may realise that it is necessary to optimise mobile applications. Creation of mobile-friendly applications and websites will be another task that the organisations need to accomplish, to provide customers with quick responses.
Channels will be amalgamated
In 2019, you can expect call centres to conjoin different channels to provide better efficiency in call handling. Ranging from simple voice calls to websites and even messaging applications, you can find call centres starting to make use of all these applications in unison. It can help in taking the final step to meeting customer expectations. Coupling multiple channels together may help in providing a fast, smart, and effective means of communication. Customers can benefit in terms of customer queries and provision of customer friendly services.
Digital transformations will seek a pathway to the back office
There is a possibility that organisations are going to seek a pathway to their back offices. This means reporting, workflow, automation, real-time analysis, and integration may face a different way of operating and may take place in the back offices.
Converting an unhappy customer to a happy customer will also be a major consideration in 2019. There may have been instances when your customers have become frustrated and unhappy due to the response provided by your organisation. Unhappy customers may also leave due to the inability of meeting their call handling expectation levels. According to research, eight out of ten customers consider switching to other companies due to inappropriate call handling. It can take its toll on the company’s clientele list. Leaving them behind and moving ahead is not a smart thing to do. Persuading your unhappy customers to develop a belief in you is the solution. You can achieve this by predicting their behavioural pattern and providing them with apt solutions. This method will be a smart way to retain the leads for your call centre business. Deploying an employee who will be solely responsible for playing this part by studying customer’s style, personality, and behaviour to generate outcome and output will be a trend for this year.
Technology to enhance customer experience
There is a chance that technological choices will be switched to a more personalised customer journey. It is mandatory to understand that customers don’t find joy in interacting with automated machines. They can easily get frustrated and may struggle to get on the right path to getting their queries solved, so there is a good chance that a more personalised approach will enhance call handling services. There is room for ditching the self-service option and moving to personal emails, chats and phone calls. This will make your customers more likely to end the call with a smile, having experienced the ultimate satisfaction of getting their queries solved.
Advisor training will be triggered
The upcoming year will move ahead with the enhancement of training skills to the advisors. You can expect to see advisors getting complete comprehensive training and being provided with the right tools to assist their customers well. This aspect is going to take call handling services to the next level. Having trained staff in your office cubicles is a feather in the cap. Having a good array of staff is something to boast about when you have happy customers on your list and they write a positive review about the services that you offer. This all happens because of the staff that you have in-house to take your business to the next level.
Customer feedback to play a major role
In 2019, you are sure to see call centres racing for customer feedback. Feedback is something that lets you know your shortcomings and allows you to work on those areas where you are lagging behind. There is always room for improvement, and feedback can help you find where to refine your call handling services. Feedback matters, and will enhance the customer experience, making the customer journey pleasant and something to be happy about. Feedback can be gathered in multiple ways, such as surveys, advisor feedback, research, etc. All these can help you to take a step towards the betterment of the call handling service provided by your centre.
Artificial intelligence is not going to be as useful as it is perceived
Call centres are moving ahead to adopt artificial intelligence and robotic technology, but the reality is that this won’t match up to the hype. As it said, “old is gold”; the traditional methods for handling customers will continue to dominate in years to come. By saying this, we do not intend to say something negative about technological innovations, but it is a fact that the more traditional interaction methodologies will be in power forever. Yes, businesses have started adopting these new technologies, and yes, there are ample advantages of streamlining the customer’s journey, but the reality is something different. It is far beyond the hype and publicity that is being gathered by robotic technology and AI. It is believed that personal call handling services and emails contribute to more than 80% of all the interactions that take place in a call centre.
Speech analytics as a coaching tool
We have seen considerable advancement in real-time speech analysis over the years. It has been expanding and spreading its roots for quite some time. As 2019 advances, you are sure to see real-time speech analytics take its place as a coaching tool that will be adopted by call centres. It has already been adopted in many places, and, as 2019 progresses, you can see an acceleration in this being adopted as a coaching bot. Speech analytics has become intelligent and is capable of analysing the conversation between the customer agent and the customer during call handling. It can also measure the level of conversation, based on the tone and speed in which the conversation proceeds. It can sense any kind of stress and strain and can, accordingly, provide solutions.
The phone will still be favourite
We are very well acquainted with the applications and chatbots on our phones. We still live in a world where phones have major usage. If you expect customers to take up something else for communication purposes, they will expect to be provided with the same services and quality that they have been experiencing over the years. As 2019 progresses, phones will still continue to be the favourite channel for call handling. Many believe that phones will take a back seat, but this is not the case. In today’s world, customers prefer to have something that can bridge the gap of mistakes and errors, and can handle exceptions. Assuring the customers of quality services is the primary concern, and the incapability of providing unparalleled customer experience is the downfall of many companies. Poor call handling services can cause frustration amongst the customers and can affect interaction. There arises a need for having a proper interaction channel, ensuring consistent and effective interaction.
Machine learning technology will increase
Machine learning is slowly gathering its space in the call centre industry. Artificial intelligence is also gaining a place in the industry due to the increased call volume and the need for adequate call handling services on a daily basis. With the usage of such technologies, it has been easy to redirect the customers to the right path and to get them connected to the right customer agents for getting their queries and issues solved. These technologies help you identify the customers’ reasons for making the call and further direct them to the appropriate expert in the correct department to resolve the issue. These technologies not only provide a direction to the customers but also keep a record of the entire customer journey and experience. Also, if the customer has called the centre for a second time, then history is available. Because of this, the expert has a context for speaking to the customer. He/she can adequately handle the customer, enhancing the call handling services with the pre-mentioned information that helps while taking up the call.
A step ahead in improving the proactive approach
A proactive approach towards customers will be another thing that call centres will implement for effective call handling. Proactive approaches will appear in different forms. To adhere to the proactive approach, organisations will take a step forward to inform their customers about any issues that may be present in the product or services. Customers expect the organisation to be clear about the same things. They prefer to have a piece of unbiased information regarding the products or services that they are considering. Also, they expect to be informed about the ways in which the organisation is going to resolve the issues. Thus, contrary to meeting their expectations, organisations will take a step ahead to be clear about the issues. This approach will also enable the call centre workers to spot any issues and get them resolved beforehand at the base level before they become a real problem. The proactive approach will also trigger the organisations to find the competitors who are trying to push you aside and take your customers on board. This will help you in offering your customers better call handling services so that no competitor can steal your customers. The proactive approach will add more value to the customer services and map the customer journey in a better way.
Cloud services to spread their roots
Many organisations have already installed cloud technology in their offices. Regardless of the size of the organisation, there are more and more companies that are moving to adopt cloud technology, but, on the whole, call centres have yet to take it on. However, with the progress being made this year, you can expect a greater number of call centres to adopt cloud technology. There are many reasons to adopt cloud technology, the primary one being disaster recovery ability and resilience. Cloud technology can provide effective premise solutions, is easy to use, and can offer effective call handling. Cloud technology also gives you the advantage of only paying for what you use. It provides flexibility in your working and offers the convenience of mobility.
Advisor experience will be paid attention to
In 2019, you will notice that organisations are going to realise that it is of no use to enhance the customer experience without refining the advisor experience. According to a survey, customers have also pinpointed the lack of advisor knowledge, which causes a drawback ineffective call handling offered by call centres. It is a large pothole, which makes the overall experience a negative one. 2019 will be the advisors’ year, as they will receive good training tools to enhance productivity and customer experience.
Memojis will be the new trend
You may have heard of emojis in which you can see different expressions showcased by smileys. iPhones have already taken a turn towards the memoji, which is a personalised mask that looks like the user. It is an Apple augmented feature that has gained popularity as a digital mask. It is an exciting update and is going to be a lot of fun to use. Call centres are also all set to make use of memojis soon. They can be considered as personal avatars and soon, apart from the call handling services they provide, memojis are going to bring a new trend. Memojis is a pictorial representation of faces that will be used in call centre communications to express emotions.
The bottom line
These were just a few predictions for 2019. Effective implementation of the above will surely bring a change in the call centre industry and will give organisations a reason to be proud of intensifying both productivity and the customer experience.